Google Fiber unveils 20 Gbps fiber broadband service

Oct. 25, 2023
GFiber Labs uses Nokia’s 25G PON solution to deliver 20 Gig service to residential and enterprise customers with existing fiber networks.
Google Fiber, through GFiber Labs, will roll out a new 20 Gig + Wi-Fi 7 service by the end of the year, leveraging Nokia’s 25G PON solution.

Nokia’s 25G PON fiber broadband solution allows GFiber to establish a future-ready network that addresses the growing demand for more capacity and enhanced broadband services. 

GFiber Labs is currently using this technology to deliver 20 Gig services to University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and United Way of Utah County and will be available to select residential customers by the end of the year.

Google Fiber will share more details on this new product offering over the next few months. As a GFiber Labs project, this service will initially be available as an early access offering to a small group of GFiber customers in select areas.

“When we started in 2010, our central tenet — everyone should have access to gigabit internet — was bold. Now, it’s the norm,” wrote Nick Saporito, Head of Product at Google Fiber, in a blog post. “And it’s time for us to push beyond as the internet develops and grows. We must keep up with and exceed expectations to harness that incredible potential. So we are setting another audacious goal to make multi-gig speeds (and yes, up to 20 Gig and beyond) mainstream and accessible.”

Mult-gig adoption

Having begun its gigabit internet journey in 2010, Google Fiber has already signed up what it says is thousands of 5 Gbps and 8 Gbps customers. Also, it has customers using 20 Gbps in organizational settings, including the University Missouri - Kansas City and the United Way of Utah County.

Saporito said the 25G PON technology will give customers a new internet experience.

“GFiber will be one of the first ISPs to deploy Nokia’s 25G PON technology, allowing our customers to break the 10 Gig barrier that limited existing architectures,” he said. “Nokia’s 25G PON provides up to 10x speeds energy efficiently and without requiring any changes to the existing fiber in the ground.”

He added that “by offering this service with a custom pre-certification Wi-Fi 7 router (another first ever — in fact, Wi-Fi 7 is not even fully certified yet), 20 Gig customers will be able to truly harness all that speed for whatever they dream up.”

25G momentum ramping

Given the costs to deploy a new fiber network, one of the compelling aspects of Nokia’s 25G PON solution is that it enables Gfiber to reuse its existing optical fiber cables and active equipment deployed in its network to deliver a 20 Gbps symmetrical broadband service to customers quickly.  

The fiber access node supports multiple fiber technologies, including GPON, XGS-PON, 25GS-PON, and Point-to-Point Ethernet.

But the bigger story here is that Gfiber’s adoption of 25G PON shows growing interest in the technology. Analysts from Omdia and Dell’Oro see growing potential from 25G PON.

“This announcement highlights the momentum we are seeing for 25G PON,” said Julie Kunstler, Chief Analyst, Broadband Access Intelligence Service at Omdia. “With a robust ecosystem, 25G PON can be a natural fit for those operators that want to pursue higher-revenue customers and applications. Because you can use the same underlying infrastructure as FTTH, this means more revenues without expensive new network builds or additional operational costs.”

In its most recent forecast, published in July, Dell’Oro increased cumulative 25GS-PON equipment revenue between 2022 and 2025 from $315 million to $588 million worldwide, with most revenue coming from the North American and Western European markets. 

Jeff Heynen, VP at Dell’Oro, said in the research firm’s report Growing Interest in 25GS-PON Drives Forecast Increases that service providers will initially leverage 25G PON for power consumer users, businesses and wholesale wireless backhaul applications.

“While that increase is significant by itself, it’s important to bear in mind that cumulative XGS-PON equipment spent during that same period will easily push $7.7 billion,” Heynen said. “But XGS-PON will be the dominant technology across residential FTTH networks, whereas 25G-PON will be used strategically by operators for high-end residential services, enterprises, campus environments, access network aggregation, and wholesale connections.” 

About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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